On the conclusion of his failed Kashmir visit along with an all-party delegation of parliament members, Indian home minister Rajnath Singh had nothing to offer at his press conference on September 5 except the announcement that the first consignment of a thousand PAVA shells had arrived in Kashmir and that a senior official in the ministry of home affairs has been appointed to look into grievances and complaints of Kashmiri students and traders living in Indian states. He read out two helpline numbers to emphasise on the ‘confidence building measure’. The shallowness of this patronising measure was exposed very quickly. In the next few days, a Kashmiri resident in Delhi complained of no response when he dialed the given numbers in an emergency.
On September 19, a postgraduate student in the department of chemistry at Aligarh Muslim University was expelled for posting a comment on a social networking site on the recent militant attack in Uri. Interestingly, the complaint against the Kashmiri student Mudassar Yousuf was lodged by parliament member from Aligarh Satish Kumar Gautam, who belongs to Rajnath’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Gautam had complained to AMU vice-chancellor, a former lieutenant general of the Indian army, and by virtue of his post-retirement placement, a typical Indian Muslim apologist, who like an obliging policeman, personally probed the ‘complaint’ and expelled the student in the larger national interest. The VC’s office behaved like the army’s court martial where the apology of the student was not paid any heed to.
The Indian state’s unidirectional approach to ‘discipline’ Kashmiris with hurt, humiliation and intimidation has become a norm. If Rajnath’s announcement in Srinagar was based on sincerity, his own party MP would not have been the complainant against a Kashmiri student whose emotional outburst cannot be viewed in isolation and judged out of context. The hearts of all Kashmiris living outside the confines of the Valley are bleeding over the dance of death and destruction deliberately carried out by the government forces over the past 74 days with impunity and the state’s sanction. They are seething with anger and their emotional outburst is genuine and legitimate. Apart from the element of ground situation on the psychology and thinking of Kashmiris living outside, the comments written on social networking sites and outpouring of ‘nationalist commentators’ on news channels cannot and should not be viewed separately. The humiliating comments against Kashmiris, their religion, practices or anything and everything they are emotionally attached to, do not encounter any censorship from the state and its subsidiaries. This ‘cause’ of disparaging Kashmiris is emerging as a new religion in India.